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Blake Bortles will start final game of season for Jaguars

Doug Marrone makes move after Cody Kessler's four ineffective starts

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Blake Bortles will start the final game of the season, perhaps his final game in a Jaguars uniform, Sunday in Houston against the Texans. 

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced the decision at his Wednesday press conference. 

"I talked to both those guys," Marrone said "I feel like his mobility will give us a better chance."

Bortles was benched for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts and replaced by Cody Kessler, who started the next four games for the Jaguars. In those games, Kessler led the Jaguars offense to just two touchdowns. 

"As a football player, it feels good anytime you play football" Bortles said. "I enjoy the hell out of getting to come to work every day and practice with these guys. It's our last opportunity to play a game together. Nobody knows hat's going to happen next year."

Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, Kessler left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Bortles replaced him, but Kessler returned after halftime. But his ineffective play forced Marrone to put Bortles back in the lineup. With the game tied at seven, Bortles led the Jaguars on a field goal drive to take a 10-7 lead. The Jaguars defense then scored on a Telvin Smith interception return for a touchdown to win 17-7. 

Bortles said he realized he was going to start at practice Wednesday.

"Went to practice and got the reps, so I figured I was playing," Bortles said.

It’s widely believed the Jaguars will release Bortles this offseason despite having two more years left on his contract.

"The toughest part about it is that you have no idea. It's kind of unknown," Bortles said. "Most people that go through situations like this, its unknown. Whatever happens, I'll be ready."


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